Robert Hayward Barlow, a friend of both H.P. Lovecraft and Robert E. Howard, wrote this poem after the suicide of the author of the Conan yarns.
First published in Weird Tales, October 1936.
Barlow, “apparently fearing the exposure of his homosexuality“, would also kill himself in 1951.
And here is John Feaster’s reading of the poem: |MP3|
Died June 11, 1936
Conan, the warrior king, lies stricken dead
Beneath a sky of cryptic stars; the lute
That was his laughter stilled, and sadly mute
Upon the chilling earth his youthful head.
There sounds for him no more the clamorous fray.
But dirges now, where once the trumpet loud:
About him press old memories for shroud,
And ended is the conflict of the day.
Death spilled the blood of him who loved the fight
As men love mistresses, and fought it well—
His fair young flesh is marble where he fell
With broken sword that vanquished all but Night;
And as of mythic kings our words must speak
Of Conan now, who roves where dreamers seek.
Posted by Jesse Willis
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